Saturday, December 01, 2012

CSA begins

For those of you unfamiliar with a CSA, this is a great way to get local veggies! 

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Long ago when I was getting into healthy eating and discovered Weston A Price, the issue of raw milk and local produce entered my realm. Actually I found out about my local raw milk from my local Price foundation and the raw milk seller told me about a little husband and wife couple who just bought a farm and were starting up a CSA. I had no idea I could have access to this. I mean I know it was around but I didn't know it was so available! Cue my (now) 5th year with a CSA and countless other years before hand going to local markets. 

Basically you prepay for a season, here in Florida that's about November through May. Then once a week or once every other week you go to a predetermined site and pick up your veggies.

Here is what I got today: 
1 head of lettuce, 1 mini watermelon, 1 bunch arugula, 1 bunch purple kale, 1 bunch radishes, turnips and greens (eat the greens!), sungold tomatoes, 2 salad cucumbers, 2 eggplants (italian?), 1 jalapeño, and a bag of green beans. 

What I picked up

Prepped for later use. 


OHIO (Dayton area)
Raw milk: Burnett's Land of Milk and Honey
     I can say that this is the BEST BEST BEST milk I have ever had. They have Jersey cows which gives their milk ~5-6% butterfat and it is incredibly flavorful and rich. It tastes like extra milk flavored milk. think about the difference in taste from skim to whole (lets call that step 1) then from whole milk to organic whole milk (lets call that step 2). Well step 3 is most assuredly organic whole milk to this milk from this farm. Trudy and her family are so kind and I cant wait to get back to OH to get this milk again. 

Meats and eggs (and so much more): Eat Food For Life Farm
     This whole operation is based around a family farm, and it definitely feels like it! I would place a meat order with Jean through the phone (such a pleasant woman) and pick it up at the Second Street Market or Liberty Market. Their meat is all extremely high quality, organic, pastured and heritage! I even had a rare (for the supplier) black boar sausage from there. 

CSA and eggs: Mile Creek Farm
    I had their CSA for 2.5 years before I moved. I was moving right in the middle of it but I dodnt want to miss out so I convinced a friend to take it over once I left! They even let me work on the farm as part of my payment when things were a little tight before med school (ironically I have far less $ now). They are the nicest couple and honestly I wish them SO MUCH success. Ive never had vegetables burst with so much flavor as theirs. I know I sound like I am selling them (well, yes I do think you should join their CSA) but its true. I converted many with a "Here just taste this!" and then shoving food at them. A few that really pop are the raspberries (OMG) that just melted in your mouth, to the sweet and super crisp carrots in 3 colors (I liked the purple the most) to the garlic that I bought the whole market supply of twice because it was so delicious. The fresh onions were crispy and sweet and the tomatoes made me jump up and down! I remember eating so many sungolds once that I got a tummy ache! And they have so many varieties of heirloom veggies (lots and lots of tomatoes). I especially loved how they would give us prewashed and baby salad mix! And the hon tsai tai... I impressed several people with that. They just didnt know that food could be so good without a bunch of sauce/seasoning/goop on it. I loved their eggs too. At one time I thought the price was a little high because I hadnt eaten eggs in 11 years... but now I wish I could pay <$4 for eggs again! 

CSA: Geraldson Community Farm 
     This is my second year with this CSA. For the area this is the best produce you will find. Their jalapeños are the spiciest you will find (OMG pickle them- delicious) and I love that they have a "U-pick" feature every week that ranges from earth boxes of herbs to peas to tomatoes to flowers! I will say though that if I was to compare This CSA to the one in Ohio... the Ohio one wins by a landslide in almost every facet: variety, flavor, variety, ease of pick up, variety and just general feeling. The Florida one wins in that I have access to it currently and it beats out most other produce available here by a lot. The Florida one seems really complicated to figure out, while the Ohio one was just a call and a check mailed. 

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